Work Parties

Hollin Lane Allotments are running work parties to improve the surface of the Meanwood Valley Trail where it runs past the allotments. Everyone is welcome to help out.

Hollin Lane Allotments are running two work parties to improve the surface of the Meanwood Valley Trail where it runs past the allotments. The dates are

  • Saturday 24 Feb, from 10am
  • Sunday 25 Feb, from 2pm.

Meet by our main gate, down the dirt track from the bottom of Hollin Drive LS16, or just turn up and announce yourself to the people there.

The work will involve scraping some mud off the surface of the path and filling puddles with crushed stone. Some tools and wheelbarrows will be provided by the allotments. The stone is provided by the Council’s Rights of Way manager. Many thanks to Cllr Sue Bentley for facilitating this.

There will be hot drinks and delicious home-made cakes. Our work parties are usually quite fun. We are hoping for a turnout from people who live nearby, or who just use this footpath.

Ancient Music

Winter is icummen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm.
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.

Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damn you, sing: Goddamm.

Goddamm, Goddamm, ’tis why I am, Goddamm,
So ‘gainst the winter’s balm.

Sing goddamm, damm, sing Goddamm.
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.

Ezra Pound

New Gates

We have new secure main gates to match the fence, thanks to Leeds Wellbeing Fund from the Inner North West Community Committee.

After our new fence was installed along the bottom of our site there was still one big gap in our security: the old main gates. These were very solidly built, but only about five feet high and easy to climb or to pass stolen items over. Also, they were too narrow to allow large delivery lorries to come through. For these reasons we wanted to replace them with new gates which were taller, wider, strong, and like the new fence. Expensive!

We applied for grants, and Leeds City Council’s Wellbeing Fund from the Inner North West Community Committee awarded us a generous £1370. This was enough for a beautiful new gate from Airedale Fencing, the same firm that did our new fence.

Brambling

Mouths bloodied purple, fingers antennae
trembling for the touch of hidden fruit –

foragers scouring the hinterland,
eyes skinned for dark swell of berry.

Our days are long, and battle-scarred
with brambling. Brummels lade our nights;

all our tomorrows are a hooked tunnel
of bummelkites. We move hungrily

among edges, hunting for certainties:
scavengers off a darkened street,

hardened hierophants
in the sacred lore of blackberries.

We love beck-sides, and derelict places
where branches scramble out of sight –

behind nettles, under hawthorns, sidling
through bracken. We are long-armed

with reaching for the woody stems
that clamber at an immense height.

But most of all we love the brambles
arching spindly over walls in ginnels –

stray offerings from untidy ends of gardens,
bending with plump black weight.

Lucy Newlyn, from Ginnel

January cold desolate

January cold desolate;
February all dripping wet;
March wind ranges;
April changes;
Birds sing in tune
To flowers of May,
And sunny June
Brings longest day;
In scorched July
The storm-clouds fly
Lightning-torn;
August bears corn,
September fruit;
In rough October
Earth must disrobe her;
Stars fall and shoot
In keen November;
And night is long
And cold is strong
In bleak December.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

Orchard Trees, January

It’s not the case, though some might wish it so
Who from a window watch the blizzard blow

White riot through their branches vague and stark,
That they keep snug beneath their pelted bark.

They take affliction in until it jells
To crystal ice between their frozen cells,

And each of them is inwardly a vault
Of jewels rigorous and free of fault,

Unglimpsed until in May it gently bears
A sudden crop of green-pronged solitaires.

Richard Wilbur

A Prayer In Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

Robert Frost

Birds At Winter Nightfall (Triolet)

Around the house the flakes fly faster,
And all the berries now are gone
From holly and cotoneaster
Around the house. The flakes fly!–faster
Shutting indoors that crumb-outcaster
We used to see upon the lawn
Around the house. The flakes fly faster,
And all the berries now are gone!

Thomas Hardy

Winter Promises

Tomatoes rosy as perfect baby’s buttocks,
eggplants glossy as waxed fenders,
purple neon flawless glistening
peppers, pole beans fecund and fast
growing as Jack’s Viagra-sped stalk,
big as truck tire zinnias that mildew
will never wilt, roses weighing down
a bush never touched by black spot,
brave little fruit trees shouldering up
their spotless ornaments of glass fruit:

I lie on the couch under a blanket
of seed catalogs ordering far
too much. Sleet slides down
the windows, a wind edged
with ice knifes through every crack.
Lie to me, sweet garden-mongers:
I want to believe every promise,
to trust in five pound tomatoes
and dahlias brighter than the sun
that was eaten by frost last week.

Marge Piercy